On Burnout

Millennials are a nice punching bag for the Boomers, and even Gen Xers, blaming us for low home ownership rates, blaming us for ruining X industry because we don’t own can openers, telling us how to spend our money by buying less avocado toast. But we’re living in a world that Boomers created, one that sets us up for failure right out of the gate. We’re told to work hard, and to work often, because that will get you ahead. Never mind that Millennials earn less than the Boomers and Gen Xers did, that we have crippling student debt, that everything is just…more expensive.

Today is my birthday. All I want to do today is nothing. Absolutely nothing. No work. No decisions. I just want to do nothing. I’m burned out. I’m burned out from working, I’m burned out from not working. I’m just burned out. “How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation” speaks to me because it is my life. I’m burned the fuck out.

But the more I tried to figure out my errand paralysis, the more the actual parameters of burnout began to reveal themselves. Burnout and the behaviors and weight that accompany it aren’t, in fact, something we can cure by going on vacation. It’s not limited to workers in acutely high-stress environments. And it’s not a temporary affliction: It’s the millennial condition. It’s our base temperature. It’s our background music. It’s the way things are. It’s our lives.
That realization recast my recent struggles: Why can’t I get this mundane stuff done? Because I’m burned out. Why am I burned out? Because I’ve internalized the idea that I should be working all the time. Why have I internalized that idea? Because everything and everyone in my life has reinforced it — explicitly and implicitly — since I was young. Life has always been hard, but many millennials are unequipped to deal with the particular ways in which it’s become hard for us.

How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation

Published by Jess Anastasia

Pol Sci student @ASU. Future owner of a jet pack. Into: Stats, Econ, fur babies, podcasts, books, baseball.

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2 Comments

  1. This is a really great post! I’m glad to see more writers covering the topic. I never realized how burnt out I actually am until I started seeing articles like this and realizing i’m not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had no idea what I was feeling was burnout, I thought it was just a normal part of being an adult. But nope! It’s definitely burnout and it isn’t, or at least shouldn’t be, normal.

      Liked by 1 person

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